European Science Correspondent
Chris's Feed
Jun 29, 2012

Enjoy the long weekend, if only for second

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – The world is about to get a
well-earned long weekend but don’t make big plans because it
will only last an extra second.

A so-called ‘leap second’ will be added to the world’s
atomic clocks as they undergo a rare adjustment to keep them in
step with the slowing rotation of the earth.

Jun 28, 2012

Scientists develop spray-on battery

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists in the United States have developed a paint that can store and deliver electrical power just like a battery.

Traditional lithium-ion batteries power most portable electronics. They are already pretty compact but limited to rectangular or cylindrical blocks.

Jun 28, 2012

World awaits latest in hunt for Higgs particle

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – Scientists hunting the Higgs subatomic particle will unveil results next week that could confirm, confound or complicate our understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe.

Seldom has something so small and ephemeral excited such interest. The theoretical particle explains how suns and planets formed after the Big Bang – but so far it has not been proven to exist.

Jun 19, 2012

UK government report backs open access science publishing

LONDON (Reuters) – The shift toward open access to publicly funded scientific research should be supported with an extra 50 million to 60 million pounds a year in public money, according to a UK government-commissioned report.

The report, published Tuesday, strongly backs a move away from subscriptions by readers of scientific journals to charges levied on researchers in order to expand access to published research.

Jun 18, 2012

UK govt report backs open access science publishing

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – The shift toward open access to
publicly funded scientific research should be supported with an
extra 50 million to 60 million pounds a year in public money,
according to a UK government-commissioned report.

The report, published Tuesday, strongly backs a move away
from subscriptions by readers of scientific journals to charges
levied on researchers in order to expand access to published
research.

Jun 15, 2012

Voyager space probe reaches edge of solar system

LONDON (Reuters) – The Voyager 1 space probe has reached the edge of the solar system, extending its record for being the most distant man-made object in space.

According to a statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the spacecraft is sending back data to Earth showing a sharp increase in charged particles that originate from beyond the solar system.

Jun 14, 2012

New device powers gadgets through walking

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) – British scientists have built a
novel device that converts body movement into electricity
capable of powering small gadgets such as GPS trackers.

The device, unveiled this week in the July issue of the
journal Smart Materials and Structures, is designed to be worn
on the knee and harnesses the energy produced by walking.

Jun 13, 2012

Real-time gene sequencing used to combat superbug

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) – Scientists have used genome
sequencing technology to control an outbreak of the superbug
MRSA in a study that could point to faster and more efficient
treatment of a range of diseases.

The work adds to a burgeoning body of research into better
techniques for diagnosing disease more quickly and at an earlier
stage to allow more effective treatment and reduce healthcare
costs.

Jun 12, 2012

New front in “open access” science publishing row

LONDON (Reuters) – The genteel but lucrative world of academic publishing is being stirred up by a dispute over who pays for and who profits from scientific research funded largely by taxpayers.

Scientists’ careers are made, and broken, by the quality and volume of articles describing new discoveries that they publish in top journals like Nature, Science and Cell.

Jun 11, 2012

Green light for world’s biggest optical telescope

LONDON (Reuters) – A 1.1 billion-euro project to build the world’s largest optical telescope will go ahead after the European organization overseeing it said it won backing from most of its members.

The European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will directly image planets outside the solar system and those orbiting other suns in so-called “habitable zones” to perhaps answer the question of whether there is life elsewhere in the universe.